Strict Liability

Strict Liability is a legal doctrine that holds a party responsible for their actions or products, without the plaintiff having to prove negligence or fault. When someone partakes in ultrahazardous activities such as wild animals, using explosives or make any defective products, then they will be held liable if someone else is injured. This is applicable even if the defendant took necessary precautions and followed safety requirements. It is because of the nature of the activity it is assumed that the defendant should be able to foresee that a person could be harmed by it.

The principle of strict liability was first evolved in the case of Ryland V Fletcher. In the year 1868, the principle of strict liability states that any person who keeps hazardous substances on his premises will be held responsible if such substances escape the premises and cause any damage. The facts of the case states that Fletcher had a mill on his land and to power the mill, he built a reservoir on his land. Due to some accident, the water from the reservoir flooded the coal mines owned by Ryland. Subsequently, Ryland filed a suit against Fletcher. The court held that the defendant built the reservoir his risk and in course of it, If any accident happens then the defendant will be liable for the accident and escape of the material.

Going by the principle laid in the case, it is assumed that if a person brings on his land and keeps some dangerous things and such thing is likely to cause some damage if it escapes then such person will be answerable for the damage caused. The person from whose property such substances escaped will be held accountable even when he hasn’t been negligible on his part. The liability is assumed not because of any negligence but of the fact that the substance kept in his place was hazardous in nature.
ESSENTIALS – There are several conditions which should be fulfilled to categorize a liability under the head of strict liability.
Dangerous Substances – The defendant will be held strictly liable only if a dangerous substance escape from his premises. A dangerous substance can be defined as any substance which will cause mischief or harm if it escapes. It includes things like toxic gases, electricity, animals etc.

Escape – Another essential condition is the escape from the premises. It should escape and shouldn’t be within the reach of the defendant after its escape.

Non- natural Use – To constitute a strict liability, there should be a non-natural use of the land. In the above-mentioned case, the water collected in the reservoir was considered to be a non- natural use of land. Only the storage of water for domestic purpose will be called as natural use.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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